Net Zero Festival: Going negative - making negative emissions a reality

BusinessGreen staff

VIDEO: Regen CEO Merlin Hyman speaks to Drax's Rebecca Heaton, David Joffe from the Committee on Climate Change, Jenifer Baxter from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), and Great Grimsby MP Lia Nici about the challenges and opportunities of negative emissions technologies

One of the key aspects of the a net zero target is the word 'net', which essentially requires the balancing of residual greenhouse gas emissions that cannot be eradicated entirely with some form of carbon capture elsewhere. Indeed, all pathways to net zero require some level of carbon offseting and carbon capture technologies, but in more recent years there has been increasing interest in going one step further in order to deliver negative emissions. 

But what does 'negative emissions' mean in practice? For companies such as Drax, it means using CCS systems on its biomass plants to sequester more carbon than it emits from the energy generation process, thereby essentially removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Other technologies such as Direct Air Capture also aim to suck CO2 from the atmosphere for storage or use elsewhere. 

At BusinessGreen's recent Net Zero Festival, a host of experts and leading innovators came together to discuss the challenges, opportunities and investment needed for making negative emissions a reality - and at scale - in the UK. Chairing the conversation, Regen CEO Merlin Hyman was joined by: Rebecca Heaton, group head of climate change at Drax; David Joffe, head of carbon budgets at the Committee on Climate Change; Jenifer Baxter, chief engineer at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME); and Conservative Party MP for Great Grimsby, Lia Nici.

The fascinating discussion can be watched in full above. 

All of the panel debates, keynote speeches, and presentations from the world's first Net Zero Festival - which took place over three days from 30 September featuring hundreds of top speakers from business, politics and academia - are now available to watch again on demand through the Net Zero Festival website.

Drax is a partner of the Net Zero Festival

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